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The Dictator: on style, she rules

 

I read about the new trend for cropped tops, but I don’t know where to buy the right one; something that will look chic not cheesy. (I’m ready to spend some money on this since I know it’s not easy to pull off.)
New Crop, Nathan Road

The Dictator rules: Oh no. It’s like the return of the muffin top, only back to front. The where is easy. I’m worried about the how. That is, how are you going to pull it off unless you’ve been training for months? If you are more ab fab than ab flab, you have permission to splurge on top designers. Balenciaga’s moulded black leather one (HK$16,000; Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2736 8801) might be the crop top of the season, as seen ages ago on actresses Rooney Mara and Kristen Stewart. Céline’s on trend, too, with a two-tone cutaway stretch top (HK$19,000; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, tel: 3417 3038) and a truncated long-sleeved blouse (HK$16,500). In terms of casual, affordable versions, American Apparel is the brand for you, with every style imaginable, including shortened tanks, shirts in velvet, cotton, sheer or lace and tie-up blouses (from HK$160 to HK$400; www.americanapparel.net). Let’s face it, I know lots of beautiful women but few of them have six packs, and no one likes to see tummy overhang (except weirdos and fetishists). Agree? Then reference the trend with the more flattering crop of dresses designed with cutouts at the waist by Haider Ackermann, O’2nd, Three Floor and Forever 21.

 

SOS! My eyebrows have been overwaxed for years and I’ve just realised I’d look better with them fuller. Is there anything I can do to get them back to looking full?
Brow-Gain? Pok Fu Lam

The Dictator: That depends on whether you want to make your brows just look fuller or to truly stimulate growth. There are a few well-known brands with dedicated eyebrow products (not that we’ve ever had to resort to them). Talika’s Eyebrow Lipocils (HK$320; Beauty Bazaar, The One, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 3906 2388) are formulated to encourage growth with a gel of plant extracts applied twice a day for 28 days, followed by once-aday applications thereafter. Waxing brand Strip and its little sister Browhaus recommend their Extend Lash and Brow Serum, a protein peptide treatment to be used once a day at first, then two to three times per week (HK$550; 17 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2845 0886). If you want to fake it, the products are there but you’ll have to learn how to use them convincingly. Brow Bar at Benefit Cosmetics is a good place to start (HK$200 and up; Faces, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, tel: 2110 3495). While there, look around at other counters, such as Bobbi Brown, where you’ll find the Brow Kit for different colourings (HK$480; tel: 2110 9387). Prefer allnatural beauty (at least in terms of ingredients)? Beyond Organic sells Naturaglace’s organic make-up, including eyebrow pencils, gel and shadow kit (HK$355 and up; Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2870 0783).

 


 

Got a question for The Dictator? E-mail her with your name, or alias, and address at: dictator@scmp.com

 

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